Magazine article VFW Magazine

ROTC Enrollment Drops 16% in Two Years

Magazine article VFW Magazine

ROTC Enrollment Drops 16% in Two Years

Article excerpt

Mirroring the Army's general enlistment figures, enrollment in the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) has dropped in the last two years. Since the 2002-03 school year, some 16% fewer college students are enrolled in the program.

According to the Army's Cadet Command at Ft. Monroe, Va., 26,566 cadets are currently enrolled. This compares to 29,618 enrolled last year and 31,765 in 2002-03. Air Force ROTC has 15,793 enrollees, a drop of 10% since 2002-03. But Navy ROTC numbers have fallen only 1.4% over the last two years.

Some observers attribute decreasing interest to the fighting in Iraq.

"As the war has drawn out, the numbers have gone down," said 1st Lt. Brian Lusty, an Iraq vet and former ROTC recruiter at the University of Oklahoma. "Parents are kind of pushing their children away from ROTC."

Active hostility to ROTC on some campuses, especially Ivy League, also is a factor. …

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